General Mills released a new water policy this week that aims to improve the health of watersheds, particularly those critical to the company’s business.
It involves a four-phase strategy:
- Global assessment of water stress to identify priority watersheds.
- Deep-dive analysis of priority watersheds to understand challenges and opportunities, including positive and negative impact of General Mills operations.
- Establishment of a multi-stakeholder science-based water stewardship action plan, including consultation with local stakeholders from relevant sectors (industry, agriculture, government, NGO, and communities).
- Implementation of water stewardship plan and monitoring for outcomes.
General Mills also this week signed the CEO Water Mandate, a public-private initiative launched in 2007 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to encourage companies to develop, implement and disclose water sustainability policies and practices.
Two thirds of the world’s largest companies — including Merck, Unilever and H&M — are reporting exposure to water risks, some of which have potential to limit growth, according to CDP’s latest annual global water report published earlier this month.